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Violent Crime Down, But Not for Women

A recent article in the Dallas Morning News reports that the statistics showing decreases in violent crime are actually deceiving when it comes to women. While violence against men has decreased, crime statistics do not reflect that women are still the victims of violent crime at the same rate as throughout the past decade. Domestic violence continues to be the number one cause of serious injury to women ages 18-49. Many aspects of domestic abuse are still not widely considered a crime by the police or the public. This is especially true when a woman’s family member or acquaintance perpetrates the crime. A recent study by the Texas Council on Family Violence found that 96.5% of Texans consider forcing a partner to have sex against their will acceptable behavior; roughly the same percentage approved of threatening and stalking partners or relatives, or intentionally isolating a partner from friends and family. Moreover, about three-quarters of survey respondents believe that victims who remain in abusive relationships share some responsibility for their abuse; and that the abuse arises because of factors beyond the perpetrator’s control, like job loss or job stress. Clearly, intervention and prevention must remain at the focus of the fight to change public opinion, and to force law enforcement officers to take these crimes seriously.

Sources:

Dallas Morning News, 02/21/03